June 24, 2024

On Tuesday night’s episode of NRL 360, the Wests Tigers were criticized for prioritizing “outside noise” over their on-field performance. This accusation stemmed from Dean Ritchie of The Daily Telegraph expressing feeling “insulted” by a story published in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Tigers and Benji Marshall were thrust into the spotlight last week when Ritchie wrote a column questioning the effectiveness of the rookie coach’s distinctive coaching style in the NRL.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Chammas responded to criticism on Monday, two days after the Wests Tigers lost their season opener against the Raiders 32-12.

Chammas highlighted the poor timing of Dean Ritchie’s article, which came just before Benji Marshall’s coaching debut. He also claimed that a former high-ranking club official was the source behind the story.

In his article, Chammas questioned whether it was a coincidence that a News Corp article questioning Marshall’s work ethic appeared online just 48 hours before his first press conference as coach. He mentioned that the Tigers and Marshall were upset about what they saw as an attempt to undermine him by a disgruntled ex-employee, who Chammas identified as former Tigers recruitment manager Scott Fulton.

During an appearance on NRL360, Ritchie defended himself by stating that Fulton was wrongly implicated in his article.

“The story suggested that Scott Fulton had influenced my writing. I found this assumption discrediting to me. Scott Fulton had no involvement in that story,” Ritchie clarified on NRL360.

He expressed concern that attributing influence to Fulton was damaging to his reputation, especially as Fulton is currently seeking employment in rugby league.

NRL 360 co-host Paul Kent commented that the Wests Tigers’ tendency to attribute external pressures as “agendas against them” is a recurring theme when facing criticism.

Kent emphasized that the Tigers should prioritize addressing their on-field issues rather than focusing on external distractions.

“This is a common pattern from the Tigers where they tend to blame outside influences whenever they face criticism,” Kent remarked. “They need to concentrate on fixing their gameplay, particularly in the rucks and improving their defensive intent.”

Braith Anasta echoed Kent’s sentiment, noting that the Tigers have been diverting their focus for too long by reacting to media stories instead of focusing on internal improvements.

“The key takeaway here is that after a disappointing loss, the Tigers should be concentrating on internal matters rather than getting caught up in media noise,” Anasta added.

Paul Kent emphasized that the Wests Tigers’ preoccupation with external distractions, such as media stories and perceived agendas, has led to a lack of focus on the field.

“They were unsettled even before the game,” Kent interjected. “The stories were circulating before the game, and the Tigers were already reacting to them. This constant concern about protecting themselves distracts them from focusing on their performance on the field.”

Kent expressed concern that unless the Tigers take responsibility for their situation and focus on improving their performance, the cycle of criticism and distraction will continue.

“The fans are growing tired of this,” added Dave Riccio from The Daily Telegraph.

Benji Marshall begins life as Wests Tigers coach as the joint venture  searches for something to believe in - ABC News

1 thought on “Critics lambasted the Tigers for their “insulting” conspiracy theory surrounding Benji.

  1. The fans are growing tired of the crap so-called reporting by the unprofessional NRL 360 members. Why would Ritchie come out the day before the Wests Tigers’ first game of the season under a new first-time coach to degrade the work ethic of the coach? Was it because he wanted to big note himself or try and make out he was a good reporter? Why didn’t he wait till after the first game under Benji and then have his say?? Was he afraid that the result of the game may have been different? The program is more of a comedy than a serious NRL discussion. It’s ok for them to criticise but they can’t take it when someone has a go at them. Weak as …..!

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